Nebraska Has Accepted Invitation, Officially Joins Big Ten Conference

Nebraska has reportedly accepted an invitation, officially joining the Big Ten Conference. A statement is expected Friday evening.

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Source: Nebraska Could Join Big 10 As Soon As Friday

The World-Herald, citing an executive from a Big 12 Conference school, is reporting that Nebraska is expected to become the 12th member of the Big 10 Conference as early as Friday.

NU Chancellor Harvey Perlman has declined all interviews about conference realignment and expansion. He is expected to address the topic with the Board of Regents at its Friday meeting in Lincoln.

Direct confirmation from Nebraska of a conference change for the Huskers wasn't immediately available. Sources at two other Big 12 schools told The World-Herald that their athletic directors have instructed them to be ready by week's end for a briefing on probable Big 12 changes.

For much more on this story, head to SB Nation's Corn Nation.

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Kansas To Nebraska: Please Don't Go, Girl

Kansas, which is having a little bit of a year as it is, finds itself caught up in the Big Ten's necessarily accelerated expansion timetable and its future very much in peril. And like all cornered animals, it's resorting to some very unseemly measures to save its birdlike neck:

Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little urged her Nebraska counterpart Monday to remain in the Big 12 and help avoid a potential calamity for the Jayhawks.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Gray-Little said she got no indication of what Harvey Perlman might recommend when he meets with Nebraska regents on Friday. She said she also planned to call Missouri chancellor Brady J. Deaton with the same message.

If that's not emasculating enough, they're even deigning to collude with that other Kansas-based institution:

Kansas and Kansas State, fierce rivals for decades, have vowed to work together.

“That’s been our commitment and our plan, to the extent that it’s possible, that we would work together, that we would intend to be in the same conference and have the opportunity to play one another and continue a great tradition of rivalry."

The good Doctor draws a sheet over the proceedings:

Last week, in response to reporters wondering where a Big Ten offensive would leave KU, athletic director Lew Perkins asked them, "How do you know they [the Big Ten] haven't called us?" I believe Gray-Little has answered his question.

And over at SBN's Rock Chalk Talk, Jayhawks fans are huddled and yearning to breathe free. Join the expansion conversation right here.

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Big Ten To Invite Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Rutgers Says Source No One's Heard Of

According to talk radio 810 AM out of Kansas City, the Big Ten has extended invitations to Nebraska, Missouri, and Notre Dame to join the conference in its plans to expand. If Notre Dame remains independent, the station’s sources says the next choice would be Rutgers, who would get the late night booty call from Jim Delany only after Notre Dame explained it had to stay home and, um…clean the kitchen. Yeah, that’s it. Clean the kitchen.

Caveat lector: this is the first report anywhere naming specific names re: Big Ten expansion, and thus should be treated with great skepticism. That said, if those are indeed the names, they would match most people’s best guesses at expansion candidates with little in the way of surprises in terms of the choices. (Even Rutgers, whose proximity to lucrative New York television markets would be most appealing for the Big Ten Network’s ad revenues.)

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Big Ten Expansion Reaction: Big 12 Shy Violet Edition

On the scale of least to most off-the-rails reaction to the news of the Big Ten's possible nebulous expansion plans, this actually falls somewhere in the middle: Nebraska to ... the SEC? Corn Nation fantasizes about a Huskers-centric bidding war:

Texas probably won't be a fit for the Big Ten...but what about the SEC?  Pairing up the Longhorns with Texas A&M and possibly Oklahoma would be a natural for the SEC.  Who would that fourth team be?  Well, what about the Nebraska Cornhuskers?

Aside from being neither South nor East ... read the rest at Corn Nation. 

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Big Ten Expansion Reaction: Natives Edition

SBN's Iowa coalition at Black Heart Gold Pants lists likely and unlikely comers to the Big Ten expansion bargaining table, and along the way ends up confirming what we already knew; namely, that Notre Dame is that girl who will never, ever leave her hand in the popcorn bucket for any longer than is necessary, and Texas is lovely this time of year:

Frankly, we'd like to have Notre Dame higher, but Jack Swarbrick's comments seem to indicate, at best, a reactive stance for that athletic department. If Notre Dame's ever going to join a conference, it's dependent on the Big Ten making that first move. That pretty much excludes them from this discussion unless the conference involves them closely in expansion proceedings.
[...]
As for Texas and Texas A&M, they are absolute no-brainers, financially. Further, they're both already decent schools, though A&M isn't in the AAU (yet). As for Nebraska and Kansas, the deal is simple. KU is one of the five most popular programs in college basketball. Nebraska is (still) similarly elite in terms of prominence and media attention. There is nobody even close to that standing in either sport to the east.

Read the rest at Black Heart Gold Pants.

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The Big Ten Expansion Threat Is Real. (Maybe.)

The Increasingly Inaccurately Named Big Ten expansion discussions, you may have heard, are quite real. That things are apparently not moving to fruition as fast as we have alternately hoped and feared does not change the immutable fact that this is getting real:

The Big Ten Conference is still in the early stages of weighing expansion and "not anywhere near" the point of approaching prospective new schools, Commissioner Jim Delany said Wednesday.

"We have not accelerated anything," Delany said, refuting a Chicago Tribune report late last week that the league had alteredstepped up its timetable. In revealing it would ponder adding topanding beyond its current 11 members, the Big Ten said in December that Delany would take 12-18 months to draw up recommendations to its council of school presidents and chancellors.

Of course, that doesn't mean the plans won't be completely scuttled, because Jim Delany has many, many traits, most of them unprintable in a family publication, but chief among them is a tender, warmhearted sense of humor. He's a wonderful clown who loves nothing more than to send imaginations on completely unfounded flights of fancy, just 'cause:

If there's a need to have formal discussions about expansion with another institution, we'll reach out," Delany said. "But we're still in the process of analyzing and gathering information, and we're not anywhere near what I would describe as formal expansion discussions with any member. We haven't changed anything, neither the timetable nor the process that was described."

College football conferences have changed before. They'll change again. Absolutely nothing might come of any of this, but if it does, the crucial difference is that this time around, we'll be there, covering all the minutiae and hand-wringing in excruciating detail. Breathe regular.

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